Skull-for-Space Shuttle-Swap (only in Russia)

Link to the article (h/t Claudio)

Excerpt: Musa, however, does not simply want to give the vehicle back to Russia. In September, reports emerged that he would only return Burya to Russia in exchange for the skull of the last Kazakh Khan, a man named Kenesary Kasymov. He has emerged as a hero in modern-day Kazakhstan for leading a 10-year struggle opposing the Russian Empire’s attempts to colonize the region during the 1840s. A rival ultimately beheaded Kenesary Kasymov in 1847 and sent his head to Russia.


Rigid Frames

The picture is cool, right? I’ve ridden rigid frame Harley Davidsons and I will tell you that if you’re going any distance, they are a very rough ride. The Softail offered a solution that kept some of the looks with making the ride and vibration a bit less brutal. People who see me on my Ducati Diavel may feel that I don’t have a place in my heart for the old hogs and that wouldn’t be the case.



The political scale with one side fascist and the other side communist makes no sense to me. Totalitarianism is on one side of the scale (in whatever form including theocracies like Iran) and free is on the other. The map is just here for your reference.

Will Europe go for the Bill Gates, vat-grown, simulated meat?


Women, Wear your Masks!

2300 years ago, long before Islam, Arabs discovered that forcing people to cover their noses and mouths, broke their will and individuality, and depersonalized them. It made them submissive. That’s why they imposed on every woman the mandatory use of fabric over her face.

Then Islam turned it into the woman’s symbol of submission to Allah, the man owner of the Harem, and the King.

And in Red China

There is a tendency for smugness and self-delusion among all human beings, but the Chinese made it an art form over the past twenty years. (ZeroHedge)

It’s strange that so many smart investment quants were suckered by the communists – believing the groupthink. This is an excerpt. from the larger article linked above. Maybe worth a read?

Quantifying this dire scenario, Goldman envisions a China where new property starts tumble 30%, completions drop 10% alongside sales volumes and ASPs. If this scenario comes to pass it would also wipe out at least 4% of China’s 2022 GDP, potentially resulting in a full-year contraction at the second-largest economy in the world, an outcome that would have catastrophic implications for the rest of the world…

With that preamble in mind, we bring readers’ attention to a little-noticed report in Shanghai Securities News, citing China Real Estate Information Corp. research (link), which revealed that more than 90% of China’s top 100 property developers’ sales declined in September by an average of 36% from the same period last year…

We had to do a double-take when we saw this because these are absolutely terrifying numbers and are, to put it bluntly, scarier than Goldman’s “worst-case scenario“; what’s worse this sudden collapse in China’s property market is taking place before Evergrande has defaulted, an event which would lead to a glacial freeze in the property market as potential buyers hold off expecting liquidation firesales from the property giant in hopes of getting bargains. The problem is that in addition to being the world’s largest asset, China’s property market is also the world’s largest Ponzi scheme, and without the constant inflow of new capital it would implode, especially when factoring in the 90 million vacant apartments which just sit inert and which would promptly be dumped by anxious owners, flooding the market with excess inventory and sending prices crashing.

It didn’t take long for the market to notice what is going on and otherwise healthy property developers, which are in far better financial health than Evergrande, promptly collapsed: China Jinmao Holdings plunged as much as 10%, China Overseas Grand Oceans Group tumbled -7.9%, Sunac -3.7%, Country Garden Holdings -3%, Agile Group -2.8%, and so on.


Identify the Tank (there has to be a tank)


  1. Am seeing some opinions that if the China Ponzi scheme does implode, the CCP will be desperate for a distraction, and invading Taiwan just might fill that bill.

    • Eleven oligarchs call the shots in the Worker’s Paradise and they don’t all agree. Invading Taiwan isn’t particularly popular at home because they’re killing Chinese. Cousins, but still celestials. It’s popular with the PLA, PLA(N), etc. because it validates things. Or they get sunk in the straights and then the Ponzi scheme is magnified a million times. Risky business.

  2. For anyone interested in a collapsing China (real estate or otherwise) I recommend the Channel ADVCHINA:

    A couple of blokes who live, motorcycle there and show Ponz.

    This post is an update from one several years back but stands on its own:

    Yep, new construction in China begins falling apart in less than 3 years. If a new deluxe condo tower falls over and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?

    Surprising this channel still exists on YT.

      • It won’t be China’s demise, but a lot of the planned foreign adventures will have to be placed on hold. The People’s Liberation Army (and subsets of same) and the Public Security Bureau have long self-funded projects, basic funding, and R&D. Selling drugs and precursors abroad, entertainment industry, hospitality, and so on. All those are in the tank because people aren’t visiting China. (The drug trafficking is doing in the short term)

        They COULD double down, but the risk in doing that internationally is CONSIDERABLE. It would be a form of ritual international suicide. The RMB’s value doesn’t float against other currencies, but it will devalue or the Bank of China will devalue it. It’s that big of a thing. I could go on. Maybe. in other blog posts, but the Chinese ascendant star isn’t anymore.

    • GMTA. I was going to suggest this. The South African guy (serpentza) no longer lives in China; he’s US based now, and would probably be unsafe in China. The wumao army is after him big time on YT [1]. The Serpentza channel has some interesting stuff. The other fella (who goes by laowhy## or C-Milk, depending) I find vexing for some reason. Also, it’s laowai, there is no “h” sound in the word. Maybe he’s trying to be funny, but he vexes me in any case.

      [1] wumao as in “fifty cents”. The wumao army refers to essentially PLA-paid internet trolls. Think low-budget, low-end hasbara in service of China instead of our Greatest Ally. I like to think of them as “hasbala”.

      • Thanks for that; ADVChina is new to me and instantly liked their ‘feet on the ground’ style. Also: motorcycles! (shame about those roads.)

        After reading your comment I found SerpentZA’s alluded to ‘persona non grata’ status in the vid titled “Why I Left China For Good” (I thought was clickbait). I reckon he got out while the gettin’ was good.

        The wumao redditors are laughably transparent but probably worth the $.50.

  3. Re the Harley – A half-inch of padding on the hardtail’s seat is one disadvantage, but no brakes on the front wheel is a real deal- (and leg-) breaker for me. Been there done that >50 years ago…

    • You just can’t ride it like you stole it (even if you did just that). The vibration is horrible and if you’re on bad highway, keeping it tracking straight is a challenge. It’s a bike for the young.

  4. The Biden administration is seeking to hold China to the trade agreements created and implemented by the Trump Administration. We know that Biden & Family has been on Beijing’s payroll for many years. The proof is widespread in the public domain. The question is one of how many people Beijing will now have to pay off in USGOV to make it happen. They’re capable of it and the politicians are bought cheaply – but with the Biden Regime, they ALL have their hands out, and managing the pay-off will be challenging.

  5. Tank is some variation of a Leopard 2.

    As to ChiCom building boom, well, when you build buildings out of bad concrete, using bamboo instead of rebar and what rebar you do use is about as stiff as rubber, well, ‘Boom.’ The building collapse isn’t just financial but actual. Wondering if the same quality build went into the Three Gorges Dam?

    The story behind the skull for shuttle story is interesting. I wonder how many changes the Soviets made from the first test shuttle to the second, seeing that the CIA slipped messed-up shuttle plans to the Soviets.

    • It’s a Canadian variant of a Leopard – yes, not the easiest to classify. I have to switch things up from time to time to keep you guys on your toes.

      I’ve eyeballed construction with bamboo instead of rebar in the Worker’s Paradise. It’s only a matter of time before the Potemkin Village has an accident. It looks as if that bill is coming due.

      I’ve also been in so-called “clean rooms” in China where the procedures were sloppy, designed to “look good” not be good. I was never in the Wuhan Institute of Virology but I’m guessing they were every bit as diligent there as elsewhere.

  6. Is it really hard to believe that somewhere on Taiwan , there exist a nuclear tipped go fast thingy. Or an old Russian blower upper on stealth aircraft.
    It would be suicide , but some things are worse than die’n.
    I suspect the Chicoms , think about this a lot .

  7. I have done the hardtail and springer front end on a Shovel head. The front end would start pogoing at 63 mph. A half hour ride was all I could take and I was in my prime in my 30’s. Fast forward to the 90’s and I picked up a heavily chrome covered 93 Evo Softail Standard. The previous owner had put a big cam, Mikuni carb, and shotgun strait pipes for performance that didn’t work too well on the street. He also put a wide glide front end with a skinny front tire that was 4″ over so it handled and braked horribly. The last mod he had was a shock on the rear that had no give for my 190 lb body.

    I pulled/tossed all of the chrome covers then changed the cam to the S&S cam that was one step above stock, a Super E carb, and Hooker 2:1 exhaust. I sourced a used stock rear shock and standard duel rotor front end returning it to somewhat stock. All of the parts except the exhaust were used “take-off” where I was able to trade or sell the parts I took off. I had corrected the power, braking, and handling issues issues but even with the softest setting on the stock shock it was a bone shaker. I sold it to buy a 2 year old 96 Sportster Sport that had 400 miles that was a more comfortable ride. I was working part-time at a American V-twin speed shop at the time.

  8. You talk about Chinese ponzis, and probably do so based on real knowledge. Personally, I’m more worried about our own ponzi, aka Federal Reserve Bank.

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